(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response recently awarded a $3 million grant that will establish The Eastern Great Lakes Pediatric Consortium for Disaster Response as a Center of Disaster Excellence. The consortium, which Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a part of, is led by University Hospitals’ Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and is accompanied by four other children’s hospitals in Ohio and Michigan.
“We face threats from disasters every day and this grant gives us the opportunity to create a coordinated disaster response model to provide the highest quality care for children during a disaster,” said Rachel Stanley, MD, MHSA, chief of Emergency Medicine at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. Stanley and Ellen McManus, MD, attending physician in the Emergency Department, lead the consortium team at Nationwide Children’s.
Children represent 25% of the U.S. population and face medical challenges that require specialized care including specific training, equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals that may not be readily available during and/or immediately following a disaster. Treating children impacted by trauma, infectious diseases and other hazards during a public health emergency or disaster can challenge health care facilities that do not specialize in pediatric care and stress the health care system as a whole.
This consortium will bring together private and public entities and provide a multi-pronged approach to address gaps within the care of children across the disaster spectrum of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for nearly 7 million children. Each entity in the consortium provides unique local and state level expertise and has integrated leadership roles within their respective regional healthcare coalitions.